Know Your Supply Chain: Forced Labor

The production of goods using forced labor remains an issue around the world. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has made clear that they will continue to prioritize forced labor enforcement. CBP is the only U.S. government agency, and one of the few in the world, with the legal authority to take action against goods produced with forced labor to prevent entry into domestic commerce. 

What is Forced Labor? 

Forced labor is defined under 19 U.S.C. § 1307 as “all work or service which is exacted from any person under the menace [threat] of any penalty for its non-performance and for which the worker does not offer himself voluntarily.”  Forced Labor is the third most lucrative illicit trade, behind only drugs and weapons, and has an annual trade value of roughly $150 billion 

Right now, over 40 million people around the world are victims of some type of forced labor, including modern slavery, human trafficking, child labor, etc. Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1307) prohibits the importation of all goods and merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in any foreign country by forced labor, convict labor, and/or indentured labor under penal sanctions, including forced child labor. 

CBP is responsible for preventing the entry of products made with forced labor into the U.S. market by investigating and acting upon allegations of […]

DHS Adds Ninestar Co. And Xinjiang Zhongtai Chemical Co. to the UFLPA Entity List

The interagency Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force (FLETF), led by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), added the following two People’s Republic of China (PRC)-based companies to the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) Entity List: Ninestar Co. and Xinjiang Zhongtai Chemical Co. DHS found that the companies engaged in business practices that target members of persecuted groups, including Uyghur minorities. Goods produced by the companies  will be restricted from entering the United States.

UFLPA Background

On December 23, 2021, President Biden signed into law H.R. 6256, as part of the United States’ commitment and deterrence efforts to secure U.S. supply chains from goods produced by forced labor. The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act  (UFLPA) (H.R. 6256) requires CBP to apply a rebuttable presumption that all imports of goods, wares, articles, and merchandise manufactured wholly or in part from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous region of the People’s Republic of China, or by entities identified by the U.S. government on the UFLPA Entity List, are presumed to be produced with forced labor and are prohibited from entry into the United States.

This presumption applies to all goods made in, or shipped through, other countries that include parts made in Xinjiang. However, this presumption is rebuttable. To rebut this presumption, the importer of record will need to provide to CBP clear and convincing evidence that the goods were NOT produced using forced labor.

DHS Making Progress, Some Say Not Enough

While the announcement was applauded by some, other groups expressed concern that DHS is […]

By |2023-06-30T11:11:22-04:00June 30, 2023|China, Countries, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)|Comments Off on DHS Adds Ninestar Co. And Xinjiang Zhongtai Chemical Co. to the UFLPA Entity List

Summary of CBP’s March 2023 Forced Labor Technical Expo

Summary of CBP’s March 2023 Forced Labor Technical Expo 

CBP held a Forced Labor Technical Expo from March 14-15, comprised of experts and service providers highlighting tools to utilize for supply chain transparency to comply with The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) and the general “reasonable care” obligations of U.S. importers. UFLPA was signed into law December 31, 2021, and seeks to prohibit imports of certain goods from China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, where it has been reported that the Chinese government is using forced labor of Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic and religious minorities in detention camps and factories. For more information about the UFLPA, please see our previous blog articles here and here.  

CBP Data Dashboard  

CBP launched a UFLPA data dashboard where the trade community can now monitor forced labor enforcement by origin, commodity, CBP Center of Excellence and Expertise, and more. See the screenshot of the new dashboard below and note that the countries of export most targeted are NOT China, contrary to popular belief. This is partly due to the fact that most UFLPA enforcement to date has been on solar panels, which may include Chinese-origin raw materials but are generally further manufactured outside of China. Notably, CBP is actively tracking many different types of products across many different industries with raw materials that originate in China and that are further manufactured in other countries for forced labor enforcement. […]

By |2023-03-29T12:06:53-04:00March 29, 2023|China, Forced Labor, International Trade, Reasonable Care, Supply Chain, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)|Comments Off on Summary of CBP’s March 2023 Forced Labor Technical Expo

CBP Publishes Additional Guidance On Responding to Cargo Detentions Made Under the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act

Background

The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (“UFLPA”) went into effect on June 21, 2022. The law creates a rebuttable presumption that imports of all goods mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China (“Xinjiang”), or by entities identified on the UFLPA Entity List, were made using forced labor and are prohibited from entry into the U.S. under 19 U.S.C. § 1307. For more information about the UFLPA, please see our previous blog articles here and here. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) has been vigorously enforcing this law, detaining hundreds of attempted import shipments every month under both the UFLPA and Withhold Release Orders for suspected forced labor violations.

Importers that have a shipment detained under the UFLPA can seek to have the shipment released under one of two paths. They can either:

  • show that in spite of the fact that the goods were produced wholly or partially in Xinjiang or by an entity on the UFLPA Entity List, they were not in fact made using forced labor; or
  • show that neither the goods nor the inputs used to make the goods were produced wholly or partially in Xinjiang and have no connection to entities on the UFLPA Entity List (i.e., that the goods fall outside the scope of the UFLPA).

Taking the second path means requesting an “admissibility review.”

Last year, pursuant to the UFLPA, the Department of Homeland Security published a Strategy to Prevent the Importation of Goods Mined, […]

By |2023-03-09T20:19:21-05:00March 9, 2023|China, Forced Labor, Import, International Trade, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Uncategorized|Comments Off on CBP Publishes Additional Guidance On Responding to Cargo Detentions Made Under the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act

Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA): What You Need to Know

Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) and What You Need to Know?

On June 16, 2022, CBP held a webinar on the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA). The UFLPA goes into effect June 21, 2022 so it is critical that importers are proactive about forced labor compliance in preparation for this implementation. During the webinar CBP discussed their recently published operational guidance for importers. This blog article provides an overview of CBP’s current enforcement environment and how UFLPA will change CBP’s enforcement procedures for imports generally, and specifically from the Xinjiang region. For general guidance on preventing the importation of goods produced with forced labor and how importers should audit their supply chain to ensure non-use of forced labor, please refer to our Bloomberg Law article, “U.S. Customs Targets Use of Forced Labor”.

Background

Under Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1307), CBP derives the authority for preventing the entry into the U.S. market of products made with forced labor by investigating and acting upon allegations of forced labor in supply chains. CBP issues Withhold Release Orders (WROs) and findings to prevent merchandise produced in whole or in part in a foreign country using forced labor from being imported into the United States. CBP defines Forced labor as all work or service which is extracted from any person under the menace of any penalty for its nonperformance and for which the worker does not […]

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